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Dysfunction 40: Not giving praise

Before buying something on Amazon or eBay I check the user reviews.

I want to know what other people who have tried and tested the product think of it.

I want to know that I’m going to buy something fit for purpose, and that does the job it says it can do.

These days most people take a few minutes to do this, because the information is so readily available.


Now, think of yourself as a product.

You position yourself in the marketplace with a title and state that you can do a certain job.

If you could post your own user review what would it say?

What short, descriptive, honest information would you write?

How many stars would you give?

What reviews would your colleagues post about the product (you)?

Your CV and LinkedIn profile are your opportunity to sell yourself, but I posit that recommendations from others are becoming more and more important.

LinkedIn provides the opportunity to add recommendations for people you have worked with and most recruiters and certainly any prospective employers will be loading your profile and having a read through before you even interview with them.

How many recommendations do you have?

Have you got at least one from each place of work?

Need more? Don’t know how?

Be the person you want people to recommend.

We all have the power to make ourselves recommendable, by consistently exhibiting behaviours that impress you in others and avoiding the ones that piss you off.

Sound easy? Well that’s because it really is. You make choices every day about who you are and how you are when you walk into the office.

Who are you going to be today?

What is the quality of your product?

Would someone give it a decent user review?

You can also lead the way and show a positive example by giving praise to others. We really don’t do this enough.

Help to consolidate your thoughts on this post by either:

1. Writing a recommendation for someone on LinkedIn that you have enjoyed working with, giving specific examples relevant to that person rather than just generic fluff. No fluffing today thanks.

2. Sending an email to someone’s manager, again giving specific feedback about something they have done, or a behaviour they displayed that made a positive impression on you.

What goes around comes around.

Sitting and hoping for a recommendation doesn’t cut it. If you want something, then do something about it. Adjust your behaviour and actions accordingly.

Sure you could just ask, but this can be awkward (for both parties). And that won’t feel good either.

When you get praise unexpectedly, because of the impression you made on someone or the quality of your product, it’s like receiving a gift.

Did you know:

Research shows that when you give, the pleasure centers of your brain light up in just the same way as they do after making love, eating a great meal, or receiving a windfall. It also makes you physically stronger. Right after a good deed, one study showed a muscle contraction can be held 20% longer. – Brown, Nesse, Vinokur and Smith 2003

So – are you going to give someone a gift today and brighten up their day (and yours)?

PS. Although the above study did not specify which muscle, I did my own experiment and tried it on one already. 3 times. I think it works, although fatigue definitely set in after the second round.


And finally

Here’s something else to brighten up your day – check out the real user reviews for these products on Amazon:

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